Dr. Nicoleta Hickman is an associate professor of physics. She has been a faculty member since 2015. Prior to joining Florida Poly, she was an associate professor in the Thermoelectric and Photovoltaic Hybrid Laboratory at the Florida Solar Energy Center at UCF, Orlando.
Hickman completed her Ph.D. and her master’s degree in physics at Clemson University. She holds a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in physics from at “Al. I. Cuza” University in Romania. Her major research interest is in photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials and devices. The interdisciplinary philosophy of research within her lab combines the disciplines of physics, nanotechnology, materials science, chemistry and electrical engineering leading toward attractive research opportunities. The background of students and researchers within the lab reflect this breadth, and as a result, the laboratory is vertically integrated in its activities, straddling from basic to applied research.
Hickman is heavily engaged in teaching physics and materials for renewable and sustainable energy. Her philosophy of teaching can best be described as a philosophy of learning. Students are playing an essential role in the development and teaching of her courses. Having benefited greatly from an unparalleled tradition of teaching in her professional development, she believes it is a tremendous privilege to pass it on to the next generation of engineers being cultivated at the Florida Polytechnic University.
As part of her effort at Florida Poly, she is working on strategic planning, implementing and measuring sustainability programs throughout campus. This includes work within the curriculum, student life, campus operations and campus governance.
She has served on many conference and workshop program committees. She currently serves as chair of the Short Classes and Tutorials at the 43th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference.
Hickman is the CEO and director of research at HybridaSol, a power generation and thermal management (based on thermoelectric materials ) company she co-founded in 2013.